3 Ways to Improve Your IQ as a Leader
If you know anything about me, then you know that I’m always talking about EQ (emotional quotient) it’s importance for leaders. Well, I thought it’s about time I say a little something about IQ and the significance it has in leadership. To many, I am sure the term IQ conjures up images of super-genius child prodigies, or heroic movie stars who save the planet with the power of their brain, but what exactly is it really? And is it something we should even care about?
Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of your cognitive abilities needed to solve problems, or to put it another way, IQ is in large part a measure of your ability to recognize patterns. Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor, said “Pattern recognition is the essence of all human thought.” So, if we take him at his word, IQ is pretty important to a leader.
If you’re wondering what your IQ is, there are different tests out there that will measure it for you. A few of today’s most common IQ tests include:
- The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale for Adults
- The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
- The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
- The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
- The Cognitive Assessment System
- The Differential Ability Scales
- The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership
What if you test and don’t love your results? Is it time to throw in the towel? Absolutely not. You can improve your IQ, and I’m going to give you three ways to do it.
First, I know being a leader requires you to have a good head on your shoulders, to be able to make sense of large amounts of data, and to make difficult decisions based on that data. It is my firm belief that “book smarts” are made even stronger in a person who doesn’t solely rely on intelligence. If you’re going to succeed in life, I recommend cultivating prudence, willpower, goal-orientation, confidence, and perseverance.
Keep that in mind as we look at how to improve your IQ.
- Become a Student of Life
Study everything: math, art, sciences, languages, and anything else you can think of. Become a voracious reader, listen to different podcasts, and sign-up for classes. Engage your mind and your hands – take a woodworking class or an art class. Learning something new engages the brain to create new neural pathways and can even cause certain parts of the brain to expand. For example, learning a new language increases the volume of the hypothalamus because you’re causing the language centers of the brain to expand, which also helps with other language tasks such as negotiating, reading, and problem-solving.
If there’s something you’re good at, sign-up to teach a class. This can mean volunteering to coach your child’s soccer team or teaching a class at a community college. Stretch your brain and learn to notice patterns.
- Add Aerobic Exercise to Your Day
Neuroscience shows that aerobic exercise is very good for your brain. In fact, a Swedish study proved that cardiovascular fitness can raise your verbal intelligence by 50%. As an added bonus, exercise releases endorphins whichreduce pain, boost pleasure and reduce stress and anxiety.
What happens to you is not as important as the meaningyou assign to what happens to you. For this reason, journaling can help you sort through your experiences and be intentional about next steps. It can help you clarify your thinking.
Journaling can help you separate good thoughts from bad thoughts. Life often happens so quickly that you are left with little time to stop and reflect on the bigger picture. As you reflect on the bigger picture, take the time to record significant lessons learned. When you write down the lessons you are learning, you’ll be less likely to repeat your missteps and mistakes. This means that your cognitive ability will expand and you’ll be in a in a position to make better decisions the next time.
Finally, a journal is not only a place for lessons you are learning but also the questions you are asking. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your answers.
Journaling will help you take charge of your thinking. It will help you improve your focus.
Journal for 20 minutes a day and you will boost your mood, lower stress levels, and improve the efficiency of deep cognitive processing. It’s this processing that is core to fluid intelligence and will help you become more innovative.
Becoming a better leader will help you improve in your career and your personal life. Contact me today to learn more about RedRock Leadership and how we can help you unleash your potential for exponential growth!